It’s officially soup time! I’ve had soup on the brain lately, as 1) I just attended a slow cooker event with yummy samples (for “Crocktober” if memory serves me) with the lovely and talented Tomato Snob Jamie Verk and 2) I’ve started my second season working in the kitchen for Feel Good Guru, making delicious vegan soup that gets delivered to lots of places in the Queen West ‘hood.
So, with soup on the brain, I felt like making a super-comforting-but-not-yet-squash soup. I decided on my fave broccoli soup creation. This broccoli soup is next level delicious. Thanks to the zippy tahini sauce. When people come over for dinner, they go crazy for it, and yet the recipe is so easy that clients love to make it at home.
The trick with this soup is not to overcook the broccoli. You want it to stay bright green. Chlorophyll, which is abundant in broccoli, is destroyed by all but light cooking. This is how you know that the valuable nutrients in the broccoli are making it into the soup.
This soup is filling, and is a perfect meal on its own. It’s also perfect with a small bowl of brown rice on the side (double the tahini dressing recipe and drizzle a little on the rice, too).
Ode to Broccoli
Broccoli is one of the most popular green vegetables in North America. It is said that broccoli originated in ancient Rome. The calabrese variety, the same variety that’s most often enjoyed in North America today, was bred from wild cabbage. Catherine de Medici is said to have brought broc to France when she married Henry II. It was later brought to California by Italian brothers, who grew and eventually sold it under the name Andy Boy. Sound familiar?
Interestingly, broccoli’s name comes from the word brachiumm, which is “branch” in Latin. (I think this is why kids enjoy eating broccoli too.)
- Broccoli is also one of the famed cruciferous, or Brassica veggies (alongside cauliflower, collard greens and brussels sprouts, to name just a few). These guys are key for their sulfur content, which can help to reduce inflammation and support detoxification, balance hormones, protect skin and support heart health. One of the reasons for this is a phytonutrient called indole-3-carbinol, which helps to reduce risk of prostate and breast cancer in large part due to its ability to help the metabolism of hormones, especially estrogen. They also have constituents called sulforaphane and isothiocyanates that help to reduce risk of cancer of the stomach. Sulforaphane can also provide protection to the skin.
- Did you know that broccoli has more vitamin C than citrus? It’s also an excellent source of many other vitamins and minerals. Read on!
- It’s high in calcium. One cup of broccoli contains more calcium than 4 oz of milk. Who says you need milk to keep your bones healthy?
- The dark green colour indicates the presence of both chlorophyll and vitamin A (by way of beta carotene). Broc also a natural source of B vitamins, sulfur and iron.
- It’s good for your eyes. Thanks to the phytonutrient carotenoid antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin.
- Broccoli is also great at reducing bloating. As long as you don’t overcook it, that is.
- It’s good for the skin. Broccoli contains vitamins A and B5, which help to keep skin smooth and beautiful. It is also a good source of zinc, which keeps skin glowing, slows down the formation of wrinkles, helps with digestion (as it is a major component of stomach acid), aids fertility, helps our sense of taste and smell, and sexual development.
Did you know that you can tell if broccoli is deficient in nutrients? Just look at the stems. If there are small holes, your broc is lacking zinc. See my broc? Looks good!
Are you convinced? Read below for my amazing recipe. Try it, love it. As I said before, it’s dead simple. The soup consists of basically three ingredients: broccoli, garlic and onion. And remember not to overcook the broccoli!
Broccoli Soup with Tahini Sauce
1 medium cooking onion, chopped
2-3 small heads organic broccoli, chopped into chunks (including stalks)
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil or organic butter
4 cups water or stock (you could use up to 6 cups, depending on desired consistency)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cups baby spinach (optional)
4 green onions, sliced (optional)
Salt and pepper
Saute the onions in the olive oil with a pinch of salt and pepper over medium heat until fragrant. Add water or stock and bring to light boil until onions are translucent (around ten minutes). Add broccoli and garlic and cook until it’s bright green NO MORE! Remove from heat. Transfer to a blender, add the spinach, if using, and blend until smooth. Return to pot, adjust seasoning and stir in green onions, if using.
Serve in a big bowl drizzled with tahini sauce.
2 heaping tbsp tahini (sesame seed paste)
1-2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp coarsely chopped parsley
½ tsp sea salt
juice from ½ lemon
1 capful apple cider vinegar
1/3-1/2 cup water, depending on desired consistency
Blend until creamy. Refrigerate until needed.
I hope you enjoy this soup as much as I do. Happy Thanksgiving! xo Andrea